マントラを商品化する―チベット難民社会を取りまくワールド・ミュージック化の試み― [in Japanese] Commodifying the Mantra: The Motivations and Trials of Making World Music in Tibetan Refugee Society [in Japanese]
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This paper explores the process of the commodification of mantra CDs sung by Tibetan refugees and sold at the world heritage site and Buddhist sacred place of Bodhanath in Kathmandu, Nepal. In Bodhanath, mantra CDs are produced and sold to tourists from western and Asian countries as one way to release stress and promote relaxation. Since the 1970s, (mainly) people living in western countries have been recording Tibetan Buddhist rituals and commodifying them. Furthermore, some singers from Taiwan had a huge hit when they borrowed some famous phrases from Tibetan mantras and produced a CD called "Tibetan Incantations." Mantra singers such as Ani Choying Drolma have been invited by western musicians to record and debut as professional singers. These mantra CDs have been sold worldwide; a few merchants realized that selling these CDs should be profitable and so they sell them to tourists from western and Asian countries in Bodhanath. People living in Bodhanath have also started selling locally-produced CDs sung by Tibetan pop singers as souvenirs and they regard the production and selling of the mantra CDs as a huge business opportunity. Commodification of the mantra CDs provides huge profits for producers and all other participants, and they attempt to expand the market by selling these locally-produced mantra CDs worldwide. This paper looks at the complexities when entering the world music market via the backdoor. This paper focuses on artistic and business practices, and adds meaning to the production of the mantra CDs by multiple actors such as Nepali CD companies, Nepali producers, and Tibetan pop singers, with their different aims in broadening their activities into the world market and becoming more profitable. Besides that, this paper also attempts to show the religious practices newly found by local mantra singers within the ongoing development of religious tourism and the recently complicated condition of the society in which Tibetan refugees have been living.
- Religion and Society
Religion and Society 20(0), 33-46, 2014
The Japanese Association for the Study of Religion and Society